In November the Co-op ran four cooking workshops.
Obi Nwanguma is the owner and co-founder of Buka Kits Inc, which is the only African food meal kit delivery service in Canada. Buka Kits provides pre-portioned ingredients for authentic African recipes, along with detailed instructions for no-fuss cooking. Obi led two workshops on West African cuisine. The first workshop focused on Attieke (pronounced acheke) with grilled fish and a topping of vegetables. Attieke is a staple side dish originating from Ivory Coast, made from dried fermented cassava. It looks like couscous but has a sour taste with nutty vanilla tones. It is served with a mild or hot pepper sauce. In the second workshop, Obi and participants prepared Chicken Yassa, a Senegalese dish of caramelized onions in a sweet and spicy lemony sauce. It is a national favorite and a very popular street food in the Senegambia region of West Africa. Yassa is often eaten with white rice, but can also be paired with couscous.
Kyle Nelson, a classically French and Italian trained chef, led the other two workshops, which focused on comfort foods. In the first, he led people through making buttermilk fried chicken, Nashville style. Prepared alongside the chicken was mac & cheese, with a creamy serving of collard greens.The second was Italian comfort food. Participants learned how to make and roll butternut squash gnocchi, then they prepared a rich, creamy garlic and mushroom sauce to accompany it. You can also find Kyle volunteering as a cook at A Better Tent City or at his family’s business in Kitchener, Cameron’s Flower Shop.
Not only did participants learn to make yummy food, they also got to take meals home! Thanks to a grant from The City of Kitchener, this event was by donation, making usually pricey cooking classes accessible. The series had 32 participants over the four workshops, including eighteen people who were new to the Co-op and its activities. Some participants are becoming Community members as a result! In addition, we enjoyed cooking with some people from past events such as the Syrian dinner, as well as Sean Campbell who guided the Co-op Board of Directors in the writing of the Co-op business plan, as well as meeting new people from our community. A surprise - three participants came to the class as visitors from Buffalo, having come to Kitchener for the American Thanksgiving holidays!